- High Pressure
- Fatal Crash
- Navarro Quake
- WiFi Booster
- Glyphosate Event
- Fun Couple
- Redwood Highway
- Scroogetown Response
- WWI Casualties
- TOT Talk
- Winter Feast
- Vicchione Vichyssoise
- Mo Memo
- Wind Energy
- New Element
- Yesterday's Catch
- Office Cold
- Two Groups
- Grandma's Helper
- Mental Health
- UVSD Meeting
- Guard Dog
- Cannabis Licenses
- Chinese CBD
- San Gabriel
- Coup Bolivia
- Corrupt System
- Birth Control
- Egg Timer
- Dem Moderators
- Happy People
- School Shooting
- Impeachment Case
- Paradigm College
- Found Object
DRY WEATHER will prevail through most of the week. A weak front will approach the North Coast early Friday and generate some light rain for mainly Del Norte and northern Humboldt counties. High pressure will quickly return Friday night and provide dry weather through the weekend. (National Weather Service)
FATAL CRASH IN GUALALA
On Monday, November 11, 2019 at about 11:16am, CHP dispatch was notified of a fatal traffic collision on Old Stage Road just north of Gualala Court. CHP initially determined that the collision had occurred on Saturday night, November 9, 2019, at about 10:05pm. A passing motorist discovered the 2014 Mini east of Old Stage Road. CHP determined that the Mini was traveling south on Old Stage Road at an unknown speed and for an unknown reason it crossed the solid double yellow lines to the east (inland) and off the east edge of Old Stage road where the Mini collided with the base of a tree, then came to rest facing west on its tires. Dying in the crash were Diane Maxwell, 52, of Gualala and Alan Ricioli, 50, of Gualala. Alcohol and/or drugs were not believed to be a factor in the collision.
QUAKE NEAR NAVARRO
HAPPY VETERANS DAY and Welcome Home - Painting by Norman Rockwell.
FORT BRAGG SUCCUMBS TO TINFOIL HAT-ISM
NO STREAMING OF CITY COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT
Live streaming of the November 12, 2019 Fort Bragg City Council Meeting will be interrupted to honor a request that the City’s Wi-Fi in Town Hall be shut off during the meeting. Broadcasting of the meeting on Channel 3 will not be impacted and a full archive of the entire meeting will be available for later viewing from the City’s website. Additionally, meeting attendees will be asked to voluntarily power down cell phones and other electronic devices during the meeting.
Questions regarding this information should be directed to Tom Varga, Public Works Director, at (707) 961-2823, Ex. 132.
(Ed note: One person — “a request” — can inconvenience everyone else because of alleged problems with wi-fi?)
MendocinoSportsPlus notes: No less an authority than the World Health Organization has called "BS" on those that say Wifi is dangerous - yet the City of Fort Bragg is shutting down their City Council wifi because one person claimed they are "sensitive:"
MSP PREPARING ‘WIFI BOOSTER’ TO LIVESTREAM TONIGHT’S FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MSP will not sit idly by while the City of Fort Bragg muzzles the free flow of information by shutting down their WiFi feed to prevent the live-streaming of tonight’s city council meeting.
We have a “work around” to INCREASE the wifi signal to the meeting. Take THAT!
THE MONSANTO PAPERS
Round Up (Glyphosate) and Popcorn!
Monday November 18th @ 7pm
The Greenwood Community Center in Elk
This will be a multi-part presentation including the award winning film. The Monsanto Papers and a general overview of Mendocino County usage of industrial herbicides in the context of Climate Change. All Welcome!
SOUTH COAST NIGHT OUT
The following press release was issued by the Sonoma County Sheriff office Tuesday. As with all law enforcement press releases dealing with arrests, subjects named therein should be presumed innocent unless/until found guilty in a court of law:
"On Monday, November 11, Jason Bean, 47-years-old, Gualala, was arrested for possession of a silencer and public intoxication. Latisha McCloud, 35 years old, Stewarts Point, was arrested for possession of stolen property.
At approximately 8:00 am, a deputy assigned to the coast was dispatched to a man down, in the area of Highway 1 at Annapolis Road. Upon his arrival, the deputy saw a red Ford truck parked on the side of the road, with the driver’s door open.
McCloud was sitting in the driver’s seat, as Bean laid on her lap, passed out from being intoxicated.
The deputy detained Bean. Bean told the Deputy that he had a firearm inside the truck. The deputy found a bolt-action rifle under the backseat. The rifle had a large silencer attached to the barrel. Bean said he used the rifle to hunt for deer to feed his kids and that the silencer was to keep it quiet. Upon a further search, the deputy located a business check in McCloud’s purse that did not belong to her.
The deputy has arrested McCloud in the past for passing stolen checks, theft of credit cards and forgery. The deputy spoke with the owner of the check. The check was stolen out of a mailbox from Geyserville, during the Kincade Fire evacuation.
Bean was booked into the Sonoma County jail on a felony charge of possession of a silencer, and a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication.
McCloud was booked for felony possession of stolen property. Bean’s bail was set at $25,000. Bean has since posted bail. McCloud remains in-custody on a $5,000 bail."
THE REDWOOD HIGHWAY — SKUNK TRAIN & WILLITS
UKIAH PENALIZES FIRE VICTIMS?
(Originally posted on November 2. Now again with Reply #2)
I like your style. I have it on good authority that the City of Ukiah is penalizing workers who were displaced by the Kincade fire. Workers who could not come to their offices in Scroogetown because 101 was closed and they were under mandatory evacuation, must now expend their vacation time for days missed. They haven't suffered enough, apparently. Enter the City of Ukiah, which has found a way to fix these Crachits for living the high life on the floor of some evacuation center. Taking away their vacation days: now isn't that mean?
Brooklyn New York
UKIAH MAYOR MAUREEN MULHEREN REPLY #1 (Nov. 2): Thank you! I don't know who they could be talking about but I will follow up. We were able to keep operations running as normal but if an employee needed to use time because they couldn't be at work they should have been able to. Thanks again for sending it over. (Ed Note: We’re waiting.)
REPLY #2: Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. We did identify the employee and the team was going to work through it with that individual. Thanks again for bringing it to my attention.
UNITED STATES SOLDIERS pay tribute to the 8 million Horses, Donkeys, and Mules that lost their lives during World War I, 1918
SAYING IT WAS “ONLY A BAND-AID,” the Supervisors voted unanimously to put a measure on the March 2020 ballot which would add private campgrounds to the County’s “visitor serving facilities” Transient Occupancy Tax rolls. The measure would apply only to private campgrounds in the unincorporated areas of the County, and, presumably, would be voted on by residents of those unincorporated areas. An accompanying “advisory measure” would say that the estimated $1 million in new revenues from the additional TOT would be applied to emergency services — which is where the $1 million “band-aid” remark came from. By using the “advisory measure” ploy, the measure would only need 50% plus 1 to pass; if it was formally earmarked for emergency services, it would require a two-thirds majority. Similar measures have failed to get a majority vote in the past, presumably because (1) taxpayers were reluctant to impose the TOT on the low-end of the visitor serving facilities, (2), the Cities were included in the vote and they disproportionately disapproved, and (3) it wasn’t earmarked or designated for emergency services. Obviously, the County’s many underfunded fire departments and public ambulance services would be happy to take whatever money they might get. The wording of the accompanying advisory measure has not been prepared, but whatever it is, the revenue will be spread out by some kind of hyper-logical formula — we’ve heard it will be 75% direct grants to something like 20 fire departments or districts, and 25% to be determined by the Fire Chiefs Association.
HOPLAND FIRE DEPARTMENT trustee (and former Fifth District Supervisor candidate) David Roderick was of very mixed mind on the subject, saying that the $1 million wasn’t enough (nobody’s ever even tried to figure out what “enough” is) and it might give the wrong impression that it will fully solve the “enough” question. Roderick pointed out that he was skeptical of the $1 million revenue projection based on the County’s utterly wrong estimate of cannabis program revenues (which were supposed to in part go to emergency services, but have never materialized except as a negative). Roderick said there were alternative ways to more effectively fund emergency services, such as dipping into the $2.4 million the County pays to lock up a few local delinquents. Board chair Carre Brown cut him off before he had an opportunity to rattle off any more funding alternatives.
TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR Shari Schapmire told the board that a couple of years ago when the idea previously failed to get voter approval, she found that private campgrounds — which she said there were an astonishing 1460 of in unincorporated Mendocino County at that time — charge an average of almost $50 a night while public parks/campgrounds charge an average of almost $30 a night. There was no distinction made as to whether the campgrounds were for tent spaces or RVs; we suspect they’re mostly RVs if they’re charging the equivalent of $1500 a month for a parking space and some utilities. This measure would only tap the private campgrounds and somehow it’s supposed to add up to $1 million a year in new revenues.
WHAT THEY ALL ASSIDUOUSLY AVOIDED, though, was the existing TOT which brings in several million a year but which is routed directly to the over-price and ineffectual promotion scammers who continue to get their millions despite having no evidence that their “promotion” (free wine and expensive food for tony visiting Bay Area reviewers plus overpriced ads in Bay Area media) does anybody any good.
HERE THEY WERE talking about how the private campgrounds are a drain on emergency services, but they don’t mention those other “visitor serving facilities” which are a bigger draw but which don’t have any obligation to fund emergency services.
IT’S YET ANOTHER example of how untouchable the wine-tourism “industry” is in Mendocino County and how much of a stranglehold they have on Mendo politics and funding. So, yeah, tax the campgrounds for emergency services, but never mind the B&Bs and pricey coast “inns” and hotels. They get their taxes back in useless free advertising.
FAIR PLAY FOR VICCHIONE
Everybody Has A Plan Until They Are Defaced.
The occupation to be a benefit a community to allow the foundation and security of a future based on a solid frame work of doing the best you are allowed each day was put into question recently when Matthew Vicchione is falsely accused of participation in a crime in the city of Fort Bragg when he was not in the vicinity or part of this act against the betterment of a community and the detriment of a man.
The former heavy weight title M. Tyson once said everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face. The disfigurement either permanent, momentary or of the kind that robs you of your persona due to neglect of facts presented or the lack of coordination that is testing the limits of a free and just society under scrutiny of dwindling prospects of past exploitative examples of work and related issues to a time where all actions can and are under watchful surveillance by less than admirable judgments are and can be the case for the time being. Published in multiple of news media sources a man’s reputation in our community has been altered to appear as a disencumbered adventure seeker looking for trouble instead, of the truth his life has taught him to seek and live with as intended by the reformist society a lot of individuals bet their liberties on at a moment’s notice. And some of them outsourced in imagined ideas of a better place with containment of its inhabitants that can then realize all, involvements in global trade wars we no longer need say reformed prisoner in passing we can explain as the one who is considerably money oppressed and now proclaim wiped in order to save time and what passes for money at present, for talk that offers experience versus tolerance.
The wheels of justice can turn ever so slow when the preponderance of evidence is falsely fabricated into plausibility of non-truth for the swift axis of enforcing goodwill despite the lack of it to begin with, the majority of intention to thwart the process and invent of mask real opportunity of a state to pursue the goals of each individual to enable the probability of fast, quick, and unwise judgment on a scale that can make us all part of the mechanism or machining of our rights into a larger scale of non-determination of our future though, at once beneficial and prosperous to society and nation to one than is caught up in the most current issue or to abandon to complete nullification to our minds and souls as regarded blind justice puts all, in a temporary back log or worse.
A nation and a people founded on the idea to stop tyranny and to allow the individual to prosper in a communal way with nature and the society we continue to foster. Our personnel and outer motivation of protection from what the truth of reality of sustainable reasoning or the eventual possibility to forward time to allow this to happen in the best of circumstances to a humane and purposeful stand to life and liberty is in need of readjustment to previous expectations to enrichment for preservation and a sustainable future.
MAYOR MO MEMO #15 (second to the last)
by Maureen Mulheren, email@example.com
This is just one Council-members account of the week and what is happening in the City of Ukiah. At the November 6th Council meeting we welcomed new City of Ukiah Police Officer Chris Min and presented a Proclamation to Redwood Children's Services for Adoption Awareness Month. The City of Ukiah will be signing on to the County letter to PG&E as well as sending a separate letter to try and get a rebate for our customers. That would be the same rebate that PG&E offered for the PSPS on October 9th, but for the most recent PSPS that did effect the City of Ukiah. We also received quite a few letters regarding Chrispin Hollinshead letter regarding the City of Ukiah becoming more power resilient and that will be on an upcoming agenda for the Electric ad hoc of Scalmanini/Crane. Janet Pauli presented an update about the Potter Valley Project. This important conversation effects everyone in our community I hope you are following it: http://pottervalleyproject.org/overview/
We received a report on the Measure P expenditures from our Chief of Police Justin Wyatt and Fire Chief Doug Hutchinson. I'll post the link to the full agenda below but the ongoing challenge for both departments is employee recruitment and retention. We held a public hearing for the Ukiah Pacific Associates to build 31 units for Seniors on the corner of Gobbi and Oak Street. A housing project called Gobbi Commons moved forward. This is a project by Guillion on the west end of Gobbi Street in a lot that has been vacant for decades. The State Streetscape project was sent out to bid for construction that would begin in January. The underground utility work will be heard again at the next Council meeting on November 20th because the underground electric utility work needed to be included in to the plans. The public comment and correspondence received was from some folks that had previously been opposed to the project but thought that with the removal of diagonal parking and center medians the traffic would in fact flow in a more efficient matter. I would encourage you to watch the full meeting here: http://www.cityofukiah.com/meetings/ Also I have been answering some questions as they come up on my City Council page
After the Streetscape item we heard from the Planning Department about the questions and comments on the Mendocino County Housing Plan. The City Council approved an item for the City Manager to negotiate a section of property on the western hills for public open space (more to come on that). AP Triton was awarded a contract to study the ambulance service in the Ukiah Valley and Mendocino County. We are hoping that other agencies will engage and help support this project as an accurate picture of County ambulances will help us to plan for services in our County. The 2019 Calfire Dispatch agreement also moved forward.
On Thursday I was honored to attend the Veterans Luncheon at the Elks Lodge. (see attached photo)
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." — John F. Kennedy
HUMCO WIND PROJECT HITS TURBULENCE
by Daniel Mintz
County approval of the wind energy project proposed for Monument Ridge and Bear River Ridge is in deep doubt as public opposition has surged.
During a November 7 Planning Commission hearing, the seemingly progressive renewable energy project was described as intrusive, destructive, ugly and an expression of corporate “colonialism.”
Proposed by the Terra-Gen company, the project would install 47 wind turbines on the ridges above Scotia and Rio Dell, with each 600-foot tall turbine producing two to five megawatts of electricity.
According to Terra-Gen, that’s enough to power over 70,000 households.
But most of the many people who spoke during the permit hearing had strong objections to the project’s visual, environmental, wildlife and tribal resources impacts.
David Simpson, a longtime local political action advocate, said the project has introduced a new kind of divisiveness. “In the past, in the old days, conflict was between the environmentalists and the loggers, the ranchers – that’s not true anymore,” he continued. “Now the conflict is within the environmental community itself.”
He added that the term “clean energy” is being “abused” in Terra-Gen’s case, as “the impacts of these windmills are tremendous.”
The project’s siting is also divisive, as harm to tribal cultural resources is among the significant unavoidable impacts listed in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Adam Cantor, a natural resources specialist for the Wiyot tribe, acknowledged the importance of renewable energy but said the tribe opposes the project because the ridge sites are “super sacred and very significant biologically, ecologically and culturally.”
Like many other speakers, he said the EIR is “completely inadequate.”
Several commenters described Terra-Gen as a corporate raider of culturally important territory.
The project’s jobs creation and tax revenue benefits were described as “typical capitalist colonizer rationales” by Meg Stofsky, who often comments on racial and social issues.
“Don’t show a lack of respect for the Wiyot tribe’s knowledge and wishes,” she said.
Dr. Tony Silvaggio, a Humboldt State University environmental sociologist, said the project’s context is “the legacy of white supremacy and the ongoing attempts to erase the history of indigenous people by destroying and despoiling their landscape and resources.”
Others called attention to Terra-Gen’s parent corporation, Energy Capital Partners, a company that owns 167 power plants and invests in a range of energy production, including fracking.
Ellen Taylor, who chairs the Lost Coast League forest restoration advocacy group, said the project advances “predatory industrial expansion over which we will have little control once it starts.”
The minority favoring the project described it as part of an urgent response to climate change. “We’ve got to stop putting carbon in the atmosphere,” said Blue Lake resident and energy conservation advocate Kit Mann. “The climate crisis is going to be an equal opportunity disaster and with due and sincere respect, it’s not gonna care who our ancestors are or how long we’ve lived here.”
He added that to “avoid a bleak future, we will need not one Terra-Gen project but thousands all over the world.”
Mary Sanger of 350 Humboldt, which promotes climate change awareness and response, said it’s fortunate that the county has a “major wind resource, a resource that we can utilize to do something about climate change.”
During a presentation on the EIR, the county’s consultants said the project’s land disturbance footprint amounts to 655 acres. Estimated avian impacts include mortality of 50 raptors and 7.7 marbled murrulets over the project’s 30-year lifespan.
The combined avian death toll, including “resident and migratory birds,” is expected to range between 150 and 300 per year.
On the project’s benefits, Nathan Vajdos, Terra-Gen’s senior director of wind development, said it will displace 176,370 metric tons of carbon per year, which he described as the equivalent of taking 82,000 cars off the road.
“This is our opportunity to combat climate change locally,” he said.
He acknowledged the impacts on tribal resources but noted that the entire project area is made up of “managed lands” owned by the Humboldt Redwood Company and Russ Ranch.
The permit approval hearing was continued to Nov. 14, when a decision could be made. But another continuance, to Nov. 21, is possible.
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 12, 2019
LESLIE ADELMAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
KELLY CLARK, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
EDWARD ESQUIVEL SR., Willits. Community supervision violation.
VINCENT GALVAN, Fort Bragg. Burglary, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
ISMAEL GUERRERO-RODRIGUEZ, Las Vegas/Hopland. Pot cultivation.
MATTHEW JOHNSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-loitering, under influence, failure to appear, probation revocation.
CHRISTINA LANCASTER, Willits/Potter Valley. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.
MATTHEW LANDRY, Lincoln City, Oregon/Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ALICIA PHINNEZZ, Santa Rosa/Willits. Under influence, community supervision violation.
GLENDON WADE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
TWO GROUPS OUT THERE
There are basically two categories of homelessness. The first includes people who are temporarily homeless for reasons such as loss of income or housing or medical expenses but are otherwise of sound mind and able to recover with assistance from government or charitable organizations, along with the potential availability of affordable housing.
The second category, which is more difficult to address, is the chronically homeless. These are typically individuals with serious and long-term emotional or mental issues and who are, or have been, alcohol and drug addicted. They usually resist government-provided shelter since that interferes with their dysfunctional or addicted lifestyle. No amount of affordable housing or interim services will address this category until we develop treatment programs for this group of people and, in some cases, against their will. Not doing so will ensure they continue to be a threat to each other, public health and public safety, wherever they congregate.
Surveys conducted among the homeless usually reveal that 50% or more fall into this second category. Expecting law enforcement officers to solve these problems is unrealistic. Our culture’s abuse of alcohol and drugs has contributed to this population and will continue to pose public health and safety risks until effective mental health and drug treatment programs are in place to address this need.
Santa Rosa police chief, retired
A COMPLEX CASE: Public Mental Health Delivery and Financing in California
In California, about 16% of tHe adult population, more than 4 million people, have mental health care needs. Of those, an estimated 1 million adults have a severe mental illness that impairs their daily functioning. Approximately 714,000 California children have what qualifies as a serious emotional disturbance. For individuals with disabling mental health conditions who do not have private health insurance, publicly funded facilities, agencies, and programs are the primary, if not only, source of mental health care.
JOHN SAKOWICZ WRITES: For ratepayers of the UVSD, I would strongly recommend you watch the UVSD's special board meeting on Friday, November 1, since it is a presentation regarding bond refinancing that the District has been working on for two years which can result in an additional $5.5-$10 million savings to the District. Hopefully, these savings are passed on to ratepayers.
John Sakowicz, Candidate 1st District Supervisor
AN INTERESTING CHART with cannabis licensing statistics:
CANNABIS IN CHINA
China Lets Its Cannabis Industry Bloom but Says No to Marijuana Farmers, companies increase hemp-related investments; a push ‘at light speed’ into CBD business. Illegal at Home but Lucrative Abroad: China Bets Big on CBD.
5 FAST FACTS ABOUT THE MILITARY COUP IN BOLIVIA AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
The United States is currently backing a military coup against Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, who recently won re-election. Bolivia has enjoyed relative calm during the length of Morales’ presidency which began in January 2006. In 2008, Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador and counter-narcotics agents. The two countries have not had an ambassadorial relationship since 2009.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
When impeachment proceedings began against Nixon the public trust in government was 65 to 70%. According to polls, public trust is in the low teens for Congress and this has been true for over a decade. Most people correctly see this as a corrupt system that doesn’t care if you have decent health care, a marginal standard of living or protection from predatory banks/credit cards. They’re living with the consequences that our “elected officials” would rather attend cocktail parties than do their job and they’re sick of all the posturing. Bernie inspired people b/c he seemed genuinely angry over the dismal prospects most Americans face and he wanted to do something about it. But it’s over for the Democrats — they switched from beer to champagne and they’re not about to go back.
SHE WAS STANDING in the kitchen, preparing their usual soft-boiled eggs and toast for breakfast, wearing only the t-shirt she normally slept in. As her boyfriend walked in almost awake, she turned to him and said softly, “You’ve got to make love to me this very moment!” His eyes lit up and he though, “I am either still dreaming or this is going to be my lucky day!” Not wanting to lose the moment, he embraced her and then gave it his all, right on the kitchen table. Afterwards she said, “Thanks,” and returned to the stove, her t-shirt still around her neck. Happy but a little puzzled, he asked, “What was that all about?” “The egg timer’s broken,” she explained.
As Pushkin said, “Dearer to us than a host of truths is an exalting illusion.” I saw a happy man, whose cherished dream had so obviously come true, who had attained his goal in life, had gotten what he wanted, who was content with his fate and with himself. For some reason there had always been something sad mixed with my thoughts about human happiness, but now, at the sight of a happy man, I was overcome by an oppressive feeling close to despair. It was especially oppressive during the night. My bed was made up in the room next to my brother’s bedroom, and I could hear that he was not asleep and that he kept getting up and going to the plate of gooseberries and taking a berry. I thought there are, in fact, so many contented, happy people! What an overwhelming force! Just look at his life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, impossible poverty all around us, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lies … Yet in all the houses and streets it’s quiet, peaceful; of the fifty thousand people who live in town there is not one who would cry out or become loudly indignant. We see those who go to the market to buy food, eat during the day, sleep during the night, who talk their nonsense, get married, grow old, complacently drag their dead to the cemetery; but we don’t see or hear those who suffer, and the horrors of life go on somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is quiet, peaceful, and only mute statistics protest; so many gone mad, so many buckets drunk, so many children dead of malnutrition… And this order is obviously necessary; obviously the happy man feels good only because the unhappy bear their burden silently, and without that silence happiness would be impossible. It’s a general hypnosis. At the door of every contented, happy man somebody should stand with a little hammer, constantly tapping to remind him that unhappy people exist, that however happy he may be, sooner or later life will show him its claws, some calamity will befall him — illness, poverty, loss — and nobody will hear or see, just as he doesn’t hear or see others now. But there is nobody with a little hammer, the happy man lives on, and the petty cares of life stir him only slightly, as wind stirs an aspen — and everything is fine.
CONSUMER REPORTS ON GENERATORS
Just happened to see this article from Consumer Reports on how to choose the right size generator…could be helpful to anyone considering investing in a generator in anticipation of future power shut-offs.
THE IMPEACHMENT CRYSTAL BALL
by Marshall Newman
With the 2020 Presidential Election coming up in a year and the House of Representative’s impeachment inquiry into President Trump in full swing, now is the time to dust off the old crystal ball. Yes, there are plenty of possibilities. But like dominoes in a row that fall one by one and sometimes branch off into new rows falling in different directions, we may well see several of the following scenarios play out over the coming months.
First things first. To state the obvious, President Trump is in deep manure with his endeavor to tie Ukrainian aid to an investigation of presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Whether or not United States aid to Ukraine was withheld, the insinuation that it would be unless Ukraine announced an investigation is sufficient to begin an impeachment inquiry. Indeed, it is sufficient to impeach. The Constitution (Article II, Section 4) is clear on the matter: “The President, Vice President and all Civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
The President’s action in regards to Ukraine was clearly attempted bribery. The whistleblower, who filed the complaint with the House and Senate Committees on Intelligence on August 12, has had his or her account of this bribery corroborated by a second whistleblower. He or she also has had much of the account substantiated by the President himself, in statements he made to the press when news of the complaint broke. The comments by White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on October 17, when he acknowledged military aid to Ukraine was withheld by President Trump to spark an investigation into the actions of his political rivals – namely Joe Biden – is similarly damning.
The House Intelligence Committee – led by Chairman Adam Schiff – has launched a formal impeachment inquiry, the prelude to the House of Representatives moving forward with an impeachment vote. On October 31, the House of Representatives voted on a Resolution out the process to move impeachment from closed door hearings to public hearings. The President and his staff say the Executive Branch will not comply with House subpoenas to obtain documents regarding interactions between Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and officials in Ukrainian government.
President Trump also claims to have an exact transcript of the July 25, 2019 phone conversation between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that exonerates him from charges of bribery, but to date has not released it. The reason this transcript has not emerged is simple; it either does not exist or it – in fact – substantiates the bribery charge.
Truth be told, these documents won’t be needed for the House to proceed with an impeachment vote. In addition to the statements by the President and others in the Executive Branch, the inquiry will have the sworn testimony from several people – among them ranking members of the US diplomatic corps - with firsthand knowledge of the telephone conversations and actions. By the time the House of Representative votes on impeachment, the evidence supporting impeachment will be substantial.
On to the crystal ball and likely future scenarios.
The odds the House of Representatives will vote to impeach are 100 percent. The evidence already is strong and likely will be stronger by the time a vote is taken, the Democrats have a majority and there is little downside for them to vote in favor of impeachment. The timing of the vote will be critical; the House of Representatives won’t move too quickly to avoid charges of a “rush to judgement” and won’t move too slowly to avoid charges of ”election manipulation.” Most likely the vote will take place early in 2020, soon after Congress reconvenes following the holidays.
After the impeachment vote in the House of Representative, the Senate will hold an impeachment trial. The Republicans hold a majority in the Senate with 53 seats, verses 45 seats for the Democrats and two seats held by independents who typically vote with the Democrats. With their clear majority, the Republican leadership is confident it has the power and the votes – especially since a 2/3 majority vote is required for removal from office – to avoid impeachment of President Trump.
As they will eventually discover, Republicans will not fully control the impeachment trial in the Senate. The Constitution stipulates the trail in the Senate will be presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, currently Justice John Roberts. Not Vice President Pence (who currently presides over the Senate) and not Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who typically sets the Senate’s agenda). Republican Senators may well try to change the rules on how the impeachment case is presented in their favor.
However, the weight of history and national attention will make jurisprudence Justice Robert’s focus rather than who appointed him to the job or who holds the majority. Against vehement protests by Republican Senators, he will allow all the evidence gathered by the House of Representative to be presented. While House Democrats are doing their impeachment inquiry due diligence, how are the Republicans countering that effort?
The Republicans have made little effort to dispute the facts of the impeachment case. With so much evidence supporting the bribery charge against President Trump already compiled and additional evidence coming forth every week, the Republicans have mostly stayed silent on the facts with the hope they go away. Their other approach is to say the situation was misinterpreted and no bribery was actually committed. Based on the details already confirmed, not a compelling argument.
The Republican leadership’s one attempt to address matter is to say that President Trump is a President unlike any other and handles his duties differently than other Presidents. Its statement is certainly accurate. However, with the exception of President Nixon, no other United States President has taken an action directly prohibited by the Constitution. The other two impeachment proceedings, against Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were based primarily on their personal conduct.
So what will President Trump, his administration and the Republicans in Congress do to counter the drive towards impeachment? Deflect, distract and dodge – that’s their game plan. Like various Administration members saying there really wasn’t an attempt to coerce Ukraine, despite clear statements by others that Ukrainian aid was tied to its announcement of a Biden investigation. Like Republican House members House storming a closed-door hearing of the House Intelligence Committee to protest the impeachment inquiry. Like President Trump demanding the whistleblower’s name. Like President Trump insisting he has the right to question the accusers (he doesn’t). There is sure to be plenty more Republican shenanigans, all with the goal of distracting both Congress and the public from the facts at the core of this impeachment inquiry and the impeachment itself.
President Trump also will utilize one of his favorite tactics – throwing allies (former and current) “under the bus” to save his own skin. Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bolton, Steve Bannon and several others likely will be savaged as the President attempts to blame others and exonerate himself.
As the impeachment cases moves to open hearings in the House of Representatives, a vote of the full House and a trial in the Senate, there will be a steady drumbeat reinforcing how President Trump violated his oath of office and violated Article II of the United States Constitution in the Ukrainian affair. Eventually all Republican members of Congress will need to decide where their allegiance lies; to the Constitution or to President Trump.
The Republican Party and Republican National Committee will apply enormous pressure to make it the latter. However, the power of the moment, and the realization of the huge price they and the country will pay for ignoring such wrongdoing will cause one or more of them to break with the party and support impeachment. Some Republican members of Congress will support Trump and announce their retirement at the end of their terms. Whether doing so will be seen as face saving or an act of cowardice remains to be determined.
Several Democratic members of Congress will face a slightly different decision, whether to embrace impeachment or stand back from it. For those members of Congress who won their seats by narrow margins, support of impeachment may cost them their jobs. Or it may bring them a windfall of new backers.
Will President Donald Trump be impeached and removed office? Here the crystal ball is cloudy, as so many decisions will precede this ultimate one. However, all those involved – career diplomats, careerists who work in the Executive Branch, Trump appointees and members of Congress – should know there is an especially nasty circle of hell, both now and in the hereafter, reserved for those who witness actions damaging to the very principles of this country and who remain silent.
Expect a fascinating year.
A READER SENDS ALONG…..
Questions About New Paradigm College In Lucerne, California
To Residents of Lake County:
We are a group of concerned ex-students of Adidam (AKA The cult on Cobb) living in Marin County. We have all previously lived in Lake County and are concerned about some recent activities of that group in Lake County. It’s quite common for cults, after the death of a teacher, to re-brand themselves as a benign organization. For instance, The Unification Church founded by Reverend Moon, hid his involvement and became The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Cults also like to engage in public education enterprises: the Moonies founded the newspaper, The Washington Times, but hid its connection to their leader. Cults often re-invent themselves to draw people into their group and provide the cult with an income. Cults have created programs for addiction, programs for stress reduction, anything to keep their communities going and create an avenue to draw people into their organization without disclosing their past association with the original cult.
One Adidam non-profit organization operating in Lake County is the Siegler Springs Community Redevelopment Association (SSCRA) which was formed after the Valley Fire to address “concerns” of the general community in that area. But knowing the Adidam organization, it really is a way of ingratiating themselves with the greater Siegler community which they hope will support them in their re-build after the fire with their new facilities called “Bright Village LLC” which requires re-zoning to accomplish. In our collective experience, Adidam has never done anything for the greater Lake County community and has only used it’s money for Adi Da’s personal opulent lifestyle. The SSCRA is performing community services so that they can raise money and get permission to build their unusual building. The complex will have many tiny apartments (300 to 450 sq. ft.) with odd large communal spaces, useful only to that group. In the future, the buildings would not be a normal residential area for anyone else. As an aside, the reason the Adidam community members are in such dire straits is that they have been financially drained by their teacher, Adi Da over many years.
The board of the SSCRA is comprised of Elliot Hurwitz, three other Adidam members, and former Lake County supervisor, Denise Rushing. The Bright Village Board is also comprised of many of the same SSCRA members as well as Ms Rushing again. We don’t know how Ms Rushing has become associated with the Adidam community. Perhaps she likes the people, but they tend to have a hidden agenda to serve their own community, such as: creating The Bright Village complex as per Adi Da’s instructions in a book first published in 2007 entitled, “Not – Two is Peace.” When you go to the provided Bright Village Link, you’ll see a quote from “Not - Two is Peace” and another quote written by an Adidam student under the title, “We are the Seed” which illustrates how they want to carry on Adi Da’s plans (it also shows you how they speak in the Adidam community). “During His Human lifetime, Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj Planted a cornucopia of Blessing Seeds, only some of which sprouted and flourished during his life. The Bright Village is one of the most recent shoots to break through to the open air.” The Bright Village link we are providing is the one given to members of the Adidam community, whereas The Bright Village plan, which the public can see (on the SSCRA website), eliminates any mention of Adi Da in the script. See the SSCRA and Bright Village Links below letter.
Elliot Hurwitz, of the aforementioned non-profit SSCRA, has also previously formed another non-profit called, The Calistoga Institute, with his friend and fellow Adidam member, William Stranger. The now defunct Calistoga Institute was an educational non-profit which gave lectures and seminars at wellness centers and various global peace symposia on the topics of “well-being, cultural regeneration, and inherent unity.” These are all topics that reflect the concerns of Adi Da in his book, “Not-Two is Peace.” This book is an attempt to rebrand Adi Da as the “World Friend” and is a collection of talks in which he tries to make it sound as if he cares about world peace, cooperative community, global harmony, etc., but leaves out the fact, that for years, he has been putting out the message that he is the only truly enlightened being who has ever lived and the only way to realize a state of peace and unity is through devotion and obedience to him. See “Not-Two is Peace” link below.
Now there is a new non-profit popping up in Lake County, The New Paradigm College. Although it has been formed under the umbrella of The Romero Institute, headed by Daniel Sheehan, it’s other founders are Denise Rushing and provost William Stranger (Adidam member mentioned above). William obviously got to know Daniel Sheehan through becoming the managing director of Daniel’s New Paradigm Institute (an ecumenical organization) which closed after one year when they ran out of funding. Ms Rushing and Mr. Sheehan have no idea how Daists would view the opportunity of running The New Paradigm College; it would be a way to eventually subtly work Adi Da’s teaching into the curriculum. The New Paradigm concept already has eclectic ecumenical goals which it has put forward in its mission (see the proposal to the Lake County Supervisors below), so Adi Da’s teaching would blend right in.
An example of how this would work can be found on William Stranger’s on-line magazine, called “The Dharma Café” If you click on the provided link, you are going to see an example of what cult books call “grooming.” The website is an eclectic mix of various and sundry spiritual and health related articles, but if you look closely in the “Spiritual Heros” section, under the title of “The World’s Greatest Unpublished Spiritual Book,” by William Stranger, you will read about Adi Da’s work in glowing terms. The next article down is called, “In Praise of Holy Madness,” by another author who is touting the fact that Gurus could act crazy, but still be “enlightened.” The next article down is titled, “The Necessity and Greatness of the Guru,” by still another author, which promotes the fact that one absolutely needs a Guru. This seemingly random cluster of articles, which seem to provide public education, is really an attempt to get people to accept the idea of crazy behavior in a Guru, the necessity of having a Guru, and the supremacy of the Guru Adi Da in particular. See link to Dharma Café below.
We have to stop and comment for a moment that we actually regret having to write this letter, because all the new teachers and staff of The New Paradigm College, which have come together to create this new institution, know nothing about how the Daists would view this opportunity to further their agenda. We are sure the new staff has a sincere desire to share their concerns about the environment, world peace, and bringing religions together. However something happened recently which raised a red flag with ex-Daists and it became imperative to write this letter. If one understands the group-think in the Adidam community, one would understand that it is not a coincidence that the following happened around the opening of the New Paradigm College: there was the “disappearance” of a long time ex-student watchdog website, called adidaarchives.org.
When someone brought it to our attention that The New Paradigm College was opening, with William Stranger as provost, we never worried about Daist influence at the college, as long as the adidaarchives.org website was still up and running. Access to the archives was still easily available when we checked in July, 2019. The archives gave testimonies of ex-students, published actual “insider” notes which Adi Da gave to the community, and cataloged the abuses that went on there (when it comes to a cult, who are you more likely to believe, current students or ex-students?). We even downloaded the archives and saved a live link to it (because we know how Daists “roll”). But as of early September, people could no longer find the archives by the search engine. They would be re-directed to a strange webpage called “AdiDa Archives” which contained a hodgepodge of postings on everything from health to computer science (all postings were by “admin” and were dated from October 2018 to January 2019). But stranger yet, even other websites that previously had links to the adidaarchives, now contained links which re-directed people to this new fake webpage (see links to fake webpage below). Luckily our saved links still went to the actual archives. One can still get to adidaarchives.org through a search engine if one types in “Adi Da and his voracious, abusive personality cult” (Then click on the “Enlightened Spirituality” website. The link is in the fourth paragraph down; click on “Adi Da archives website – press here”). Perhaps one can still get there through this link because it is a more secure website.
We alerted one of the people who formed adidaarchives.org originally, and he could hardly believe what “someone” was up to. Then through serendipity, one of us was scrolling through a pro Adi Da website and found an “insider” article that was obviously not supposed to be posted there called: “The Negative Websites, Their Impact On The Adidam Mission, and What We Can Do About It” by Chris Tong PHD, a computer science expert. This is a 54 page document written long after Adi Da’s death. From this document, people can now get a first hand look at what this organization is like and what they still currently think about acquiring students:
1) On page three, it states that: “99.9% of the time we loose all our prospects because someone has visited one of the negative websites.”
2) On page 26, section number 4, they say that adidaarchives.org is the worst, the most prominent, and the nastiest of the negative websites. The whole article is about how to displace the negative websites with multiple positive ones and utilize SEO’s to bury the negative ones. However, they never mentioned anything about shifty re-directs.
3) On page 24, under the title, “What is so disturbing about the negative websites that we lose every prospect who visits them”, the idea being that they have trouble explaining the following problems: the problem of Child Abuse (Adi Da made a ten year old girl strip against her will in front of a group of adults ( this is on a Youtube Today Show clip. We will provide a link below). They go on to list more “problems” which Daists have to explain such as sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, misogyny, and megalomania.
4) A personal favorite of ex-Daists is on page 9 under “The urgency created by our aging community, “ the idea being they need more students so they want people for the following needs:
a) Financial needs - we don’t have enough students to pay all our bills.
b) Human needs - We don’t have enough students to cover all our service requirements
c) Spiritual Needs – We don’t have students to create a “Mandala of Transmission” (energy field) that Beloved has referred to.
Ex-students can attest to the fact that Adi Da also primarily valued his students for their financial resources and service to him. The current Daists can’t help but continue Adi Da’s exploitative relationship to people.
5) Here is a quote from Adi Da himself which they included to inspire people to get more students (on pages 16-17):
“You need thousands of more people to serve Me, and you’re not making it happen. I’ll be dead before you grow another hundred, two hundred people’s worth. It’s not happening. When do you get a fire under you? It is not happening. You’re justifying the cult and it’s candy store business.” Avatar Adi Da Samraj, April 4, 2006
So now we understood how the adidaarchives.org links got re-directed. One cannot learn morality from an immoral teacher. It is very common in cults that the “ends justify the means.” They don’t like the archives and were hoping to bury it, but no-one thought they would resort to this level of manipulation. Below are the actual live links to the archives and you can see for yourself what they contain.
Perhaps people are wondering what distinguishes an unusual minority religion from a cult; one thing is the presence of full disclosure. In other words, one can find out what the teacher is like and what the group doctrines are from the beginning of one’s association in the minority religion. Cults, however, attempt to hide what the teacher is really like or what the doctrines are because they are trying to keep people from being shocked and turned off to the group. They want people to slowly find out this hidden information over time, once they have acclimated to the cult. The Moonies explain this by saying, “a baby can’t eat large pieces of meat.” What the Daists and many Eastern based cults are trying to get the new students to “feel” are the unusual energies of the teachers and practices, which cause certain experiences of bliss. However, genuine teachers from Eastern religions all warn of immoral dark yogis/dark teachers who can produce the same energy states as the good teachers. Many of the large Eastern cults in America have been formed by these dark teachers. Western people were very naive and were preyed on by these teachers to meet their power, service, and financial needs. By removing the links to the adidaarchives.org, the Daists are currently trying to “take away” Lake County residents’ ability to gather all information regarding Adi Da and the Adidam community.
We have to stop for a moment and explain that we do not care if people want to teach Adi Da’s teaching openly, especially if they leave the archives alone. It’s the issue of disclosure that we have a problem with. Disclosure just became more of an issue for Lake County since New Paradigm College recently asked Lake County to “Crowd Fund” their new school, whereas originally they were funding it themselves. In their initial proposal to The Lake County Supervisors, they said they had “solid financial backing.” The New Paradigm College proposal and the early New Paradigm College website originally said that they were going to offer a BA in “Global Integrative Studies” through The University of San Francisco for three years and they would then offer the BA through the Lake County campus after the third year. Now, the New Paradigm website has no mention of offering a BA at all. Also, as an aside, Elliot Hurwitz, who is also a member of the Cobb Area Council (CAC), wrote a letter of recommendation to The Lake County Supervisors backing The New Paradigm College. Elliot Hurwitz is simply supporting his friend William Stranger once again.
Here are some questions Lake County residents should have for the college: How can Lake County residents support a college if they don’t know the full curriculum? What happened to the original promised accredited bachelors degree? What happened to their promised “solid financial backing?” (see original proposal to The Lake County Supervisors below). And continuing on the topic of full disclosure, how can someone with William Stranger’s qualifications lead this college? If one looks at his LinkedIn profile (listed below), he did not graduate from college (Grinnell – 2 ½ years) and has no work history listed prior to 2009 (he was in the Adidam community; Adi Da died in 2008). He also has no work experience or schooling in the field of education or college administration. William has run an on-line magazine (2009 to present) called The Dharma Café, as we previously mentioned, and states that he is a publisher of Dharma Café books. He actually has imprint co-published only five books with North Atlantic Press from 2008 to 2012 (if you click on his “current publications” at the top of The Dharma Café website, you will see the five books). As we mentioned before, he also did a lecture series with his friend, Elliot Hurwitz, through the now defunct non-profit, “The Calistoga Institute.” Other than that, he has only worked for a year for the currently defunct New Paradigm Institute. We don’t really see how someone, with William’s level of education/work experience, will be able to pull together a functioning accredited institution so that it becomes something valuable to Lake County and prospective students. Perhaps New Paradigm College could pivot and become a leading college in forestry studies with an emphasis on fire management in addition to the courses on permaculture and environment which they are currently offering.
Finally, the authors of this letter want to offer an explanation as to why we are writing this letter anonymously. If people know anything about cults, they will know that speaking out against a cult will get a person harassed by current cult members and oddly by people who are just fans of Adi Da’s books. The only new information we have provided in this letter is general information about cults found in the writings of Lifton, Singer, Cialdini, Zimbardo, Lalich, and Deikman. We have also provided the personal connections of the people previously mentioned in this letter. However, the important facts in this letter are from articles, documents, and videos which are found on-line and are easily available if one knows where to look. We have highlighted facts which are there in plain sight and have minimized personal opinions about the people mentioned in this letter. We will leave it up to the public to decide if there is something to be concerned about when they view the suggested documents, videos, and websites provided. We just want to let people know that some of the links provided below may become deactivated due to the fact that Daists may remove various articles from the web once they read this letter. Also, the adidaarchives.org site can be finicky, but most of the articles can be read if one is persistent. Thank you for your time.
Concerned ex-students of Adidam